Paddy production hits a record high in Punjab

Ludhiana, Sept. 27 : Punjab, which is known as the granary of the country, is heading towards a bumper paddy crop this year.

The 25.75 hectares of land available for paddy production has registered a rise in its per-hectare production, and the production figures stand at around 15.2 million tonnes.

Paddy has started arriving in the markets across the state, with government and private agencies busy procuring them.

Mahinder Singh Sidhu, an agriculture and economic expert at the Punjab Agriculture University in Ludhiana, said this season has been very beneficial for farmers despite various concerns.

"We are facing a lot of problems as far as having a market place is concerned. There is so much produce to be picked up, but where are the markets? And, then the government buys only wheat and rice at the procurement price. But since then, there is a subsidy of about 300,000 million rupees and the produce is sold off within three to four days," said Sidhu.

According to sources, about 1,042 metric tonnes of 'sathi' (early maturing) variety of paddy has arrived so far, as against 704 metric tonnes last year.
The crop has mainly arrived in Janna, Jagraon, Sahnewal, Machhiwara, Hathur and Samrala districts of the state.

Farmers are a happy lot since they are getting between Rs 600 and Rs 725 per quintal for their crop in the market. They say private players entering the fray has raised the prices.

"Private agencies are giving us Rs 717. I am very happy, and my stock has been sold out at a very profitable rate. And, since the quality of my produce was really good, I got this rate,” said Kartar Singh, a farmer.

Despite the jubilation about the bumper crop, tonnes of food grains are still languishing in warehouses waiting to be procured.

The Punjab Government has also planned to reduce roughly 100,00 hectares of land under paddy cultivation because it consumes lots of underground water. (With inputs from ANI)